Guernsey firms urged to have say on commission review

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Guernsey companies have been urged to have their say on whether changes to UK laws on the payment of commissions should be adopted in the island.

The new rules were announced earlier by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

Financial advisers and sales staff can no longer be paid commissions by the firms whose policies they are selling.

Tax expert Graham Parrott said firms needed to contribute to the States of Guernsey's consultation period on whether to introduce the same changes.

The island's Commerce and Employment Department has invited comments from all interested parties on the UK's Retail Distribution Review.

'Extra transparency'

Its consultation officially ends on 2 January.

Mr Parrott, a partner with Ernst and Young, said: "It's right to look at it but also right to consult and it's important for anyone affected by it to take between now and Wednesday to [offer their views].

"In principle, the idea of extra transparency is a good thing, but it's also right to make sure that it affects everyone in the right way."

The FSA has said its motivation for introducing the changes is to stop policies - such as private pensions and investments - being mis-sold by sales staff on commission.

From now on, customers must be quoted up-front fees, and be told about charges.

Sales staff or financial advisers will also have to state if they are really independent, or restricted to just selling the policies of particular financial groups.

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